Personal finance can be easy to manage with the use of tools, such as excel or other personal banking software. The best practice is to make sure that you pay your monthly bills at the beginning of the month. This assures that you will not forget a bill and end up with late payment fees. Managing your personal finances by utilizing a tool to keep track of what has been paid and how much yo have spent, also allows you to refer back and see past years’ finances and compare how you are doing today, compared to the past.
When using an ATM while traveling, make sure the bank itself is open. ATMs have an annoying tendency to eat cards. If your card is eaten at a bank that is hundreds of miles from home, this can be a major inconvenience. If the bank is open, you will more likely be able to retrieve your card.
A higher education can ensure that you get a better position in personal finance. Census data shows that people who have a bachelor’s degree can earn nearly double the money that someone with just a diploma earns. Even though there are costs to go to college, in the end it will pay for itself and more.
If you are looking for the best deals, take the middle man out of the equation. Sites like Expedia and Travelocity can include transactions fees (though some have been reducing them or even eliminating them). Take a look at the prices directly available at the websites of the airlines and hotels you are considering. You may find that it is cheaper.
Don’t leave your wallet or purse unattended. While thieves may not take your cards for a spending spree, they can capture the information from them and use it for online purchases or cash advances. You won’t know it until the money is gone and it’s too late. Keep your financial information close at all times.
If you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments and have no hope of becoming current, see if you qualify for a short sale before letting your home go into foreclosure. While a short sale will still negatively affect your credit rating and remain on your credit report for seven years, a foreclosure has a more drastic effect on your credit score and may even cause an employer to reject your job application.
To keep from draining your bank accounts, define a budget and stick to it. Estimate how much you spend every month on bills, groceries, travel expenses and entertainment. Allow very little leeway and put the rest of your paycheck in your savings account in case of emergencies that were not accounted for in your budget.
To be sure you are on top of things, you should use a tool to keep track of what has been paid and what is still outstanding. Make sure that you either, choose a point in time to manage this or refer to it frequently, in order to verify that you have not left out any important bills that require payment during that time period.